Friday, December 24, 2010

Support MQM for a Revolution

Upright Opinion
December, 12, 2010
Support MQM for a Revolution
By Saeed Qureshi
Thoroughly atoned and having lived in exile for 20 years now, the MQM chief, Altaf Hussain seems to be a metamorphosed person. Now he speaks for the integrity, unity, and sovereignty of Pakistan. He has been issuing clarion calls one after another, for the reconstruction of Pakistan and cornering and curbing such elements who are antagonistic towards the well- being of the masses and that of the country.
Let us deliberate today upon a prickly subject. I strongly urge you to vote for Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for an epoch-making change of the repulsive status quo and for structural transformation that the people of Pakistan have been yearning since August 14, 1947. Everyone is aware what this date means to the free citizens of Pakistan.
Following the end in 1857 of the Mughal Empire confined to a few miles around the Royal Fort of Delhi (Shahi Qila) and Chandni Chowk, the Muslims of the sub-continent looked like a lost Diaspora facing two inveterate and bloodthirsty enemies. The Mughal empire lasting from 1526 to 1857 was a paradise-like and extravagant pastime for the Mughal invaders who were Muslims in names and lecherous in their practical lives. Such immoral dynasties were destined to crumble eventually.
The die was finally cast when trigger-happy white bandits of Royal British army, in tandem with the local soldiers roamed blissfully in the streets of Delhi and engaged for days in a spree of shooting and hanging the Muslims at the nearest tree. That was one of those gruesome tragedies in the human history when nature or divine forces look at humans with complete indifference and prefer not to intercede.
That bloody chapter was closed with complete sway of the British colonialism over the entire India. For 90 years, both Hindus and Muslims entered into a phase of struggle waged for freedom from the Yoke of British imperialism. That day finally ascended on the horizon of the subcontinent. Two separate independent states for Muslims and the other for the predominant Hindu population emerged on the map of the earth. I must add hastily that this independence was genuine and not like the one that the people have had during a thousand years of Muslim rulers in India.
The new state of Pakistan is not a dynasty built or erected by an invader or snatched by one militarily powerful conqueror from another weak Muslim potentate. Even Muslims or any other race could not be treated as free under those dynastic dispensations. Those were the times when there was a supreme master called a king or monarch and the people, irrespective of their religions, were named as subjects. The concept of fundamental rights was forlon and not yet born. The dynastic or monarchical outfits were the products of those eras. The concept of democracy was alien to the rest of the world barring United Kingdom and beyond in the United States of America.
The civil and human rights were inherent in the formation of the two newborn states of India and Pakistan. Pakistan in comparison to India could be defined as a sham democracy from the inception but still democracy it has been. This country being run with fits and starts and alternating between alloyed democracy and pure dictatorship is a thousand times better than the polygamist Muslims and non- Muslim rulers of the past, who were mostly titular under the British umbrella. As rulers, they were not different from their imperialist masters except in pigment and color of their skin.
Let me not stretch this historical narrative too far because I would like to enter into a dialogue with you on voting for the MQM in the next elections. I would spell out my reasons in a short while. The MQM is a liberal, progressive, and secular party. In the past, it could be portrayed an ethnically fanatic organization but not religiously. It is a grassroot party with cadres drawn from the middle and lower middle classes. Now here is a straight question whose answer we all know. Who suffered unspeakably and atrociously in the wake of the partition of the subcontinent? The answer is: the refugees who crossed a sea of blood and fire; cut down, and slaughtered in countless numbers by Sikh and Hindu brigands while moving towards Pakistan.
Do you remember the way the Sikhs and Hindu savages tore into pieces even the babies in the wombs of mothers. Their only sin was that they opted to live in a new country indentified by Islam and the rebirth of a Muslim nation in the sub-continent. This monumental sacrifice alone entitles the Mohajars from India to be treated as heroes and the vanguards of independence. Their supreme sacrifices and unspeakable sufferings, for a sublime cause should be scribed with golden words in the annals of the Sub-Continent. That was their destiny by choice and this noble choice must always be upheld and adored.
In earlier years after its formation, the MQM was branded as an ethnic and parochial outfit that was exclusively focused on the issues concerning the Mohajars community. There was also a phase when a long drawn war of vendettas and target killing between MQM and their rival groups including the secret agencies was rife. It had a litany of charges against it, including inter-alia, generating income through kidnapping for ransom, extortion of money from non-Mohajar shopkeepers and businesses. It was also accused of numerous killings, bombings, and assassinations in the city of Karachi. During those tumultuous periods, it was alleged that the MQM has turned against a united Pakistan. It was further insinuated that it was planning to cut off a part of Sindh province to be rejoined with India.
There might be some truth in these allegations. However, let us also concede that MQM in its early formative stages was fighting for its survival and identity. Thus, there was collateral damage between MQM and those braced against it. However, much water has flown down the rivers and MQM has been recast as a Muttahida Qaumi Movement that refurbishes its national character and broader image.
It is no more talking about Karachi or Mohajars but for Pakistan’s downtrodden and impoverished people. Its branches are interspersed from the heights of Gilgit to Peshawar and Baluchistan. Now its agenda is about Pakistan and not for Karachi or their narrow ethnic interests. The tone and tenor of Altaf Hussain’s overseas discourses and that of other leaders exude a somberness, and broader vision that encompasses the entire Pakistan.
Altaf Hussain and MQM leadership now adopts a mild and toned- down reaction to the scathing attacks from other political contenders. They profess logic, a kind of sagacity and statesmanship thus diluting their past image of hardliners. They now articulate the difference between the right and wrong causes. Despite being a coalition partner at the center and in Karachi province, they even oppose vehemently the erratic and such foul decisions of the sitting government, that patently go against the betterment of the people of Pakistan.
They have thrown up an open and unreserved pledge to stamp out, the morbid scourge of feudalism, the abominable patriarchal system (Sardari Nizam), the rapacious capitalism, the plunderers of the national wealth and corrupt and scandalous individuals in and out of government. No other party has so unequivocally declared a thumping crusade against these evils.
In short, they are beckoning for an earth-shaking revolution as had happened in France in 1789-1799. That revolution became the harbinger of a chain of pro-people universal transformations and momentous changes against the monarchy, the aristocracy, the privileged people, the church and exploitative and comprador classes. The world moved towards equality, justice, democracy and flowering of human rights for the fallen people in every society.
Altaf Hussain’s call for a French style revolution is different in context from other such clamors by so many leaders in Pakistan. And he might be able to make a difference. He is a born revolutionary and is a person who does not look back when making and implementing decisions. Look at what they have done in Karachi. The Karachi’s civic life has undergone a radical change for the better. They have widened the roads, build under and overhead bridges, organized the messy traffic, cleared the pockets from the land grabbers, removed encroachments, and gave a new, decent look to this largest metropolis of Pakistan.
MQM talks of the middle and lower sections of society and vehemently opposes the elite and aristocratic classes. MQM is up against the greedy, exploitative, and oppressive power wielders. Now it combats with the land grabbers, the ruthless sugar and power mafias fleecing the public, enriching themselves and snatching from the people even their square meal.
MQM has relentlessly taken the government to task for raising the power tariff and sugar, gas and petrol prices. It did not spare ministers, the parliamentarians, and the business blackmailers, for spiking the prices by hoarding the sugar and other necessities of life. It is in the forefront for the relief and rehabilitation of the hugely devastated and uprooted population during the summer floods. Of late, it has rejected the levying of RGST (reformed general sales tax) and flood tax. It has been loudly accusing the rich classes and members of parliament for not paying taxes and instead putting additional burden on the already hard-pressed people of Pakistan.
Altaf Hussain has called for justice, national honor, integrity and adoption of such policies that, instead of borrowing money from predatory lenders, can lead to self-reliance.MQM has chalked out a comprehensive agenda for national development and nationwide campaign against the feudal domination. They call for a long march against the anti-people forces.
The biggest assets of the MQM are its totally dedicated and committed workforce and army of volunteers who don’t hesitate in laying down their lives on the call of their leader. One can see the mammoth crowds in Karachi and elsewhere, listening with rapt attention and deep sense of loyalty and abiding esteem, to the telephonic address of their leader from London. Its slogan of patriotism and abolishing feudalism, Sardari system, and big landlords is getting popular and a sentiment of support for MQM is pulsating among the people in all the four provinces. The MQM’s tilt towards India has become a non- issue as other forces would not allow this to happen nor would MQM ever harbor such a notion.
MQM is unmistakably cognizant of the stark fact that their future is inextricably linked with Pakistan. They have to live and die in Pakistan. They cannot go back to India nor can they carve out a piece of land within Pakistan. They opted for Pakistan and have to sustain and work for its stability and existence. They have to perceive themselves as locals and not refugees. Their coming generations would not know that their ancestors were migrants or refugees. That is perhaps the underlying reason behind the removal of word Mohajar and replace it with Muttahida and that is far-sighted decision.
But how would MQM come to terms with the Pakistan army that is always a robust stakeholder for the solidarity and integrity of Pakistan and having remote control in politics? The misgivings that might be simmering even feebly between MQM and the army should be removed. This is the most pressing and foremost task for the MQM leadership to address. Since the top army brass too have large land holdings as well as the parliamentarians; the burial of feudalism would need a Herculean endeavor, and a colossal crusade that could be only mustered if MQM emerges as a majority party in the assembly.
It will have to take along also other parties if it cannot attain a majority status. Or else it could form an alliance with such parties that are in favor of erasing elite culture and feudalism. How that can be made possible is anybody guess. But if the people of Pakistan genuinely believe in MQM’s revolutionary agenda aimed at turning Pakistan into a great country, then they must vote for this party.
If a change through ballot cannot be brought about then MQM is ready for the alternate course. As stated in the foregoing, it wants a cataclysmic shake-up like the French Revolution in Pakistan. For that phenomenal undertaking, the people will have to be mobilized. Are the people ready to heed the thumping call of Altaf Hussain for a bloody revolution, destroy the prevailing odious soci-political and economic system?
Upon the accomplishment of that first phase, depends the onerous task of building a new egalitarian, democratic, prosperous, liberal, and stable Pakistan? If that miracle happens then the new Pakistan would be resplendent with a civil society, human rights, good governance and would be free from the exploitation and loot of few rapacious individuals and classes.
History tells us that once in while the unusual and extremist individuals changed the course of history and attained visibly impossible feats. Altaf Hussain might prove to be one such person. Just ponder what the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah told his guest R. G. Casey, the governor of Bengal in Karachi in March 1948? Jinnah said, “Don’t decry fanatics. If I had not been a fanatic there would have never been Pakistan!”
(The writer is a Dallas-based freelance journalist and a former diplomat writing mostly on International Affairs with specific focus on Pakistan and the United States)

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1 comment:

  1. Hello my friend,

    We all are well aware of the workings of MQM in karachi, despite the effort made by mqm to feed dollars to the media controlled by the zionist.So please do not publicize about things which are mere illusions.

    The US wants mqm to come into power so that it can break sindh according to their long awaited plans and make a new province from khi to mirpurkhas. A province that would gradually be a watchdog for the US (like Israel) and play a big role in dismantling the Islam state of Pakistan (which will never happen inshaallah).

    By supporting such a rogue anti state element you are denouncing the innocent blood of people that has been spilled by the mqm activists which has held the whole of khi as a hostage.

    May Allah give you guidance and show you the path of righteousness.

    Pakistan Zindabad